Graduate Spotlight: Yuting Bai
Posted: June 27, 2011
Yuting Bai has had a convoluted journey to getting her Master degree in Pathobiology this past spring. A native of China, Yuting came to the US along with her husband and child when he moved to New York to continue his research training.
Yuting has a degree in Economics, and had finished coursework for a MS degree in this area, but became interested in working in Molecular Biology when she moved to the US. She therefore started to volunteer in various research labs to get exposure in the area. Subsequently, her husband moved to State College as a Post-Doctoral fellow at Penn State.
Yuting moved to State College and again started to volunteer in various research labs to get more experience. She subsequently approached Dr. Avery August to work as a volunteer and he decided to accept her in his lab.
After working for about 6 months in the lab, she really became quite experience in various techniques used in the lab. This was without the underlying theoretical training. She therefore became interested in getting formal training in the area and started to think about a MS degree in Pathobiology.
Dr. August decided to take her on for the degree and she started as a graduate student in the fall of 2009. After about a year in the lab as a graduate student, Dr. August decided to take a position at Cornell University, and Yuting decided to move with him to Ithaca to continue her work.
After another year in Ithaca, Yuting wrote her MS thesis on the role of the tyrosine Itk in developing skin T cells. She was able to determine that this kinase, and thus the signaling pathway it regulates, is involved in the development of specialized skin T cells.
Following this success, Yuting has returned to State College as a research technician at Penn State University.